Working at Nine ’til 5. (30)

11 Dec

One week in and at least I timed starting a job in time for the company Christmas Party and if you’re at one of Australia’s biggest TV networks, it’s a pretty big Christmas party.

I didn’t stay too long because the first week, learning new computer systems, editing software, writing styles, news formats and not to mention names, is pretty tiring.

Channel Nine seems like a good place to be however: the team are all friendly, I’ve picked up the main elements of the job and can at least be useful and although not what I want to remain doing, it’s a good foot in the door and I have met some interesting characters in Australia’s Television scene.

I suppose for want of a UK equivalent, Channel Nine is the ITV of Australia. Its news, therefore, is a little less highbrow but still taken seriously and they run several hourly bulletins throughout the day as well as lots of mini updates.

With Christmas and summer round the corner, it is the start of Australia’s ‘silly season’, usually not a lot happens and it has been a good time to ease into things. We have, however, had the interesting story of ‘Australia’s Most Wanted Man’, being hunted again after shooting a policeman. I find this story really fascinating: Malcolm Naden has been on the run for seven years, a wanted murderer and rapist and a skilled bushman, managing to evade police by camping rough and hiding out in the bush for all this time.

This week, he was almost captured but again, slipped through the net and is still at large, somewhere in northern New South Wales. He has scavenged for food, broken into homes for food and blankets and carries a cache of arms and rifles. It really is something out of a film.

Otherwise, apart from a gruesome murder and the boy freed from a Bali prison, the news here is quite parochial: lots of car crashes and teen drug stories; items which would make regional, but not necessarily national news in the UK because generally there are more important things happening, such as a Euro on the verge of collapse and Russia’s rigged elections. They get some coverage over here, but generally somewhere stuck between breaking news about the post office being busy (er, hello, it is Christmas) and a cute Koala in the zoo.

Next week, I’ll be starting at 6am so an early start but I do get the afternoon free, which is a bonus. It looks as if I’ll be working there for much of December and January (with a few days off at Christmas and New Year’s Day) and then I’ll hopefully have picked up bits and pieces elsewhere as well.

James is enjoying getting his teeth stuck into an anti-submarine warfare training programme, which he is organising and planning himself for when they are at sea in March and April.

I’m sure he’ll update you at some point. He keeps promising….


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